NHTSA Submits Rear Visibility Rule to White House, May Mandate Backup Cameras

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff
nhtsa submits rear visibility rule to white house may mandate backup cameras

After several delays, on Dec. 25th, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration submitted a proposed revised regulation to the White House that could mandate automakers to equip cars and light trucks with backup cameras. According to Automotive News, the regulation will be part of new rear visibility standards for passenger vehicles sold in the U.S and the rationale for the backup cameras is to prevent children from being injured or killed by drivers that don’t see them behind their cars when traveling in reverse. NHTSA estimates that backup cameras would save about 100 lives a year.

No details on the planned standards have been released yet. Their submission to the White House was spotted on a White House database that tracks the rulemaking process. They could mandate cameras or may allow automakers to comply using redesigned mirrors or electronic sensors. The notice confirms what former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said last year, that the administration intends to release the final rule by January 2015.

The release of a final rule, part of implementing the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, enacted in 2008, has been delayed four times since the original deadline at the end of 2011. Congressional backers of that legislation blame the delays on the White House, saying that it rejected NHTSA’s original 2010 proposal that would have required all new light vehicles to be sold with backup cameras by 2014. Since then, backup cameras have become more common as navigation screens capable of displaying a camera feed have proliferated. Some automakers have made backup cameras standard equipment on some models and in the case of Honda, across their entire U.S. lineup.

Still, many cars and light trucks are not available with the safety feature and auto safety advocates have pressed for the regulations. In September, Consumers Union, the advocacy wing of Consumer Reports magazine, filed a lawsuit to compel the Obama Administration to make backup cameras part mandatory. Scott Michelman, an attorney at the group Public Citizen, which supported the lawsuit, said at the time, “When Congress ordered this rule issued in three years, they meant three years, not seven.”

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  • Celebrity208 Celebrity208 on Jan 08, 2014

    So, Here in VA we have annual "safety" inspections. If a camera or screen stops working will the car fail the "safety" inspection? The "safety" inspection requires that all safety related systems on the car work. For example, if my '98 A4 has the AirBag or ABS light on... FAIL. Never mind I still have a working seat belt and never mind that there are people out there driving cars that never had an AirBag or ABS. So when the 3rd owner rolls around and the screen has since displayed its last pixel will that presumably financially constrained individual be compelled to fork over $$$ to fix it? Probably. In my opinion, this is BS.

  • Ixim Ixim on Jan 11, 2014

    This horse may have died, but I must add this - My 2013 Equinox lacks both a camera and a beeper. Backing up to park requires me to unbuckle my seat belt in order to see even the partially blocked view available. Narrow windows and fat pillars are the stylish culprits. I haven't hit anything yet, and I'd prefer a beeper to a distracting screen, but this is ridiculous. Of course, by the time theses systems are mandated, tall greenhouses will be back in style, solving this avoidable problem.

  • Syke Congratulations on not mentioning the political possibility. I'm sure that during the reading of the article, I'm not the only one noticing the states primarily listed are primarily considered conservative states. And they're not all states bordering Canada.
  • Redapple2 I want my 5 minutes bck
  • Paul Alexander I'd love to buy a car without infotainment.
  • EBFlex Chrysler has the best infotainment by far. The older uConnect system was bulletproof and never had issues. The newer one based on android auto is a big step backward but it's still very good. Nothing else comes close to Chrysler's infotainment.
  • EBFlex People don't want compromises. They want a vehicle that will match what they have now with ICE which includes very short refueling times, long range, and batteries that don't degrade over a rather short time. In the midwest, people don't live on top of each other. People like their space and are spread out. 30+ mile commutes are common. So is outdoor living which includes towing.Government cars make sense for the coasts where people love to live on top of each other and everything is within walking distance. They don't make sense in areas where it's cold and 40% of your range could be lost. Government cars are just not viable right now for the majority of people and the sales reflect it.